One of the most interesting and complex criteria in IB MYP Language Acquisition is criterion A, which is the evolution of the old fashioned listening activities in MFL textbooks. This criterion incorporation into the MYP Language Acquisition framework is fully justified as spoken+visual texts are one of the main sources whereby we interact with information nowadays.
Criterion A assesses the purpose(s) for and situation(s) in which the stimulus (generally a video) has been created . For example, the social and cultural features and factors of the text; where and why it is viewed and interpreted; the factors that influence the understanding and interpretation of the visual + spoken; as well as the message that the stimulus communicates.
Designing a task for this criterion is a challenge. Teachers need to locate or generate a stimulus that fits students’ phase, and which allows students to operate and interact with the text both cognitively and developmentally, in terms of language. Added to that, for strand 2, teachers have to generate questions that help students understand the elements that add meaning or offer a perspective on the topic. Needless to say, this particular strand represents a challenge for students if learning is not scaffolded.
For this reason, after looking at different ways of getting students to appreciate the ideas that are communicated; what subtitles or transitions tell us about the message or author’s intention; the reason why creators purposefully show specific elements; and the feelings or impressions that authors want readers/viewers to feel, I realised that a good approach is to have them interview a realisateur. Yet, since this could not be possible every new year, I decided to purposefully create the following resources so that students became aware of how authors handle and shape information in order to transform it into message.
With the help of our librarian and our film teacher at QAIS, I produced the following audios as a step to scaffold students’ engagement with criterion A tasks, specifically with the descriptors of strand 2.
Listen and use.